What does the world cost? Oh well, then we'll just take a small coke.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Rascally Love

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Life Tip #96

Don't lie to the person helping you exchange a ten for change.

If you are going to lie to the person giving you change for a ten, don't steal the cash register when he doesn't help you quick enough.

If you are going to lie and steal the cash register from the person giving you change for a ten, come up with a better escape plan than running on foot down the street.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Living in a Haunted House

I live in a haunted house. Ever since I was little, I've struggled with the fact that I am one of the few people who believe in ghosts. The ghost that haunts me is not me. Ok, maybe that doesn't make much sense. I should capitalize proper nouns, right? The ghost that haunts me is Not Me. Allow me to explain.

As a child, I often got in trouble for things Not Me did. I would try to tell my mom what happened, but she never truly believed me. One day she came in the room to find her favorite crystal vase shattered on the floor. I was still in the room trying to convince Not Me to be a man and take responsibility for his actions.
"WHO BROKE MY VASE!?" (When my mom is upset, she speaks in all caps.)
"Not Me!" I cried.
"What do you mean 'not you'? Who else could have done it?"
"I'm serious, mom! Not Me!"

I got several more deposits into my spank account before that tragic episode was resolved. It's not that I'm mad at my mom for not believing me. After all, I'm a little bit freaked out by seeing ghosts. Don't worry about me, I'm getting some good therapy now. As it turns out, I'm not the only one haunted by the ghost, Not Me. What a relief.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Re: Hello Dear

FCN recently received the following from one Sonia Mohamed Atif:

Hello Dear,

I know that this mail might come to you as a surprise because you don't know me and I don't know you too. My name is Sonia Mohamed Atif , I am 24 years old girl and an orphan from Sudan. My late father Mr Mohamed Atif was the deputy general manager with CNPC oil company at Khartoum refinery in Sudan. My late father was killed alongside with my beloved mother and our family house burnt down by the rebels during the last crisis in my country when Janjaweed militant came to our house, and this was what sent me away from my country to Burkina Faso as I made my escape only by God's special grace. You can read more about my country in the bbc news

I am constrained to contact you because of the maltreatment which I am receiving from my step mother. She planned to take away all my late father's treasury and properties from me since the unexpected death of my beloved Father. Meanwhile I wanted to travel to Europe, but she hide away my international passport and other valuable documents. Luckily she did not discover where I kept my father's File which contained important documents. Now I am presently staying in the Mission in Burkina Faso. I am seeking for long term relationship and investment assistance. My father of blessed memory deposited the sum of US$ 8.5 Million in one bank in Burkina Faso with my name as the next of kin. I had contacted the Bank to clear the deposit but the Branch Manager told me that being a refugee, my status according to the local law does not authorize me to carry out the operation. However, he advised me to provide a trustee who will stand on my behalf. I had wanted to inform my stepmother about this deposit but I am afraid that she will not offer me anything after the release of the money.

Therefore, I decide to seek for your help in transferring the money into your bank account while I will relocate to your country and settle down with you. As you indicated your interest to help me I will give you the account number and the contact of the bank where my late beloved father deposited the money with my name as the next of kin. It is my intention to compensate you with 20% of the total money for your assistance and the balance shall be my investment in any profitable venture which you will recommend to me as have no any idea about foreign investment. Please all communications should be through this email address only for confidential purposes.

Thanking you a lot in anticipation of your quick response. I will send you details in my next email for you to know me well. I am waiting for your reply,

Best regards,
Sonia Mohamed.
If someone is interested in helping out one Sonia Mohamed Atif, please send us an email.

Friday, July 17, 2009


One thing I really, really hate about going to the gym is the possibility of seeing someone I know there. Or, rather, the possibility of someone I know seeing me there.

While I genuinely enjoy unexpectedly meeting up with friends anywhere else, I prefer to not see them at the gym. You see, anywhere else I can wear clothes that hide my flab and reveal only the toned portions of my body. Unfortunately, exercise clothes don't give me that option.

Even more than the clothes, though, the number one reason I try to avoid people I know at the gym is that they will know I'm human, that I have to work to look as good as I do (which, granted, isn't very). I'd rather people think I look good with no effort. It would be so much less...humiliating.

I'm afraid gym invisibility has become somewhat of an obsession with me. Living in a small town with only one exercise facility certainly has its drawbacks. Lately, I've been going to extreme measures to avoid being seen there.

For instance, the other day I was happily chugging away on the elliptical when I spied (with my little eye) an acquaintance working out on the stair-stepper. Immediately, I could feel myself shrink inside and I stopped right away, making a bee-line for the door, not minding the fact that my gym bag and car keys were still in the locker room. For the next half-hour I crouched between two cars, keeping an eye on the door to watch for my acquaintance to emerge.

When she finally came out, I breathed a sigh of relief. Now I could finally go back inside and finish my routine. Unfortunately, she began walking in the direction of my hideout and I realized that she must have gotten a new car, one that I was hiding next to at that very moment. I could either stand up and reveal myself or try to sneak around to the other side of the black car.

I decided to stand up and walk casually away. Maybe she wouldn't notice me.

"Hey!" she called out. I turned and waved at her. She continued. "It's so..." she looked at me and her features began to contort into an expression of disgust - but she controlled them quickly. "...It's so good to see you again!"

She was lying. I knew she was lying.

I ran home, humiliated, and buried my head under my pillows. I doubt I'll ever have the courage to go to a gym again.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Life Tip #95

Don't steal.

If you are going to steal, don't hold up the security guard of a parked armored car.

If you are going to steal from the security guard of a parked armored car, don't burn your getaway vehicle before you have committed the crime.

If you realize you have set your getaway vehicle on fire before stealing from the security guard of a parked armored car, just don't commit the crime instead of taking the money and burning it as the police arrive.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Notice to Employees #2

Note: The following is a personal email I received. I republish it here with very few edits:

Hope you and the family is in enjoying the vacation. Everything is going well. We have the Wednesday screening in morning. I have coordinated with everybody involved. Ch, Personnel Operations is having a division Mtg at 1500 tomorrow, just wants to be updated and what's been happening. I was going to have Kay update the slides that you briefed a week or so ago. RM SGM called yesterday wanting to talk to you about adding new initiatives to their finance briefing for the Course. Will not cause any work on our part. He wants finance to come over twice for about 5 minutes each to make sure they're making progress on completing their vouchers on DTS/Virtual before the class ends to make sure they get everything they're entitled. I told him that we are having the computer divisions have our NIPR lines go hot, so they can down load the documents we need from them for the course. He says that a finance software program needs to be added before they access they're finance system back at their unit(AF). Do you want me to try to coordinate with the computer people? It may push what you're trying to do back if they try to get this software added. How do you want me to proceed? I will check with the computer and see if they have the program first and see if they do have it will it push our work order back. If it would not I will go ahead and have them add the finance software the RM is talking about. SOP is good to go. Security wanted a few things added and it was accomplished. The question is who do you want to sign it in your absence (The Director) or (Ch, Personnel Operations) or someone else? The other section of security is handling the back ground check form. She told me she will probably have the forms back by Thursday. We have forms on everybody that's authorized by you. Those people that's the background check is being done on, we can just create an access roster, which is the only missing piece. The NCOIC will walk everybody through the procedures once we get everything back signed and approved. At this time no major emails have came up in your inbox. Enjoy your vacation.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Life With Brothers

I'll go ahead and admit it right now. If it weren't for my brothers, I'd have no clue how to relate to guys. I'd also be much more uptight and organized. But let's face it... they've changed my life. I'd like to give you a little picture of what my life is like.

Note: These are all true incidents. I did not find this list online somewhere. It comes from actual events I have witnessed. In fact, the White-Out one happened yesterday.

White-Out is, in fact, quite permanent, but can be removed from skin with a generous amount of gasoline.

When inserted into a light switch, bobby pins can cause large sparks to appear, but will cause a minimal amount of damage to your person.

Sleeping bags can create large amounts of static electricity when they are ridden down a flight of stairs.

When children are given handcuffs, even play ones, it is wise to keep one of the keys in a safe place. Chances are, you'll need them later, and you'll be glad you kept them.

Do not tie a rope around your waist when jumping off a roof. Your mom will freak out about possible strangulation hazards.

"Magic Erasers" (Thank you Mr. Clean!) can usually remove permanent marker artwork from glass and antique wood. However, walls and carpet are a completely different story.

Even washable markers love flat paint.

Moms don't like silly putty. Carpet does.

Never forget to put flour in your cookie dough. Ever.

Regular table salt will stay in your hair for a while, it sticks to your scalp and can get a little itchy.

When launching water balloons out a second story window using a heavy-duty two-person slingshot, (boy is this fun!) make sure you clear the house of the across-the-street neighbor. That way, even though your mom will be mad, your dad will be so impressed that you'll get off pretty easily.

Stuffed animals placed on the blades of a ceiling fan can fly for long distances. It really is fun, just make sure you secure any breakables within a 30 ft. radius.

If all the kids in your family change places at a restaurant, the waitress really won't appreciate it.

Especially if you repeat the process every 5 minutes.

Don't keep a journal. No matter how often you change the hiding spot, it WILL be found.

If you try hard enough, it is possible to convince certain siblings that a major holiday has been cancelled for the year. Don't do this in front of your parents.

Large stereo systems and cranky neighbors do not mix.

Do not use anything living as a football. Especially a sibling.

"Lifetime" plastic folding tables make great slides, and also make you a walking talking shocking machine. Beware of touching any metal objects for at least 15 minutes.

When using Nerf guns:

Do not shoot your mom while she's talking on the phone. Especially when she's on the phone with your dad.

If you decide to shoot chandeliers, and the bullet sticks, don't worry. It will come down in a few days. Don't bother shooting other bullets at it to knock it off. And don't make a smiley face with the bullets either.

If you lick the bullets to make them stick better, they will leave a smudge mark on glass.

War movies are 10 times better when you can use a Nerf gun to shoot the enemy on the screen.

When having a Nerf gun war, ask younger siblings (the ones that aren't allowed to participate) to spy for you. This will make your enemies mad, so only do it when you have little risk of getting caught.

The bullets that come with the "Sniper" Nerf guns leave a mark on skin even when used from a distance, and at close range, it can be quite painful.

Never aim a Nerf gun at your own face. I have seen many people make this mistake. You never know when it is loaded, and apparently it really hurts when you get shot from 6 inches away. Not only does your face hurt, your pride is severely damaged.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Life Tip #94

Don't drink twice the legal alcohol limit.

If you are going to get drink twice the legal alcohol limit, don't drive.

If you are going drive after drinking twice the legal alcohol limit, don't keep doing it after your 8th DUI ticket.

If you are on your 9th DUI ticket for drinking twice the legal alcohol limit, it's probably easier to just pull over instead of slamming into several parked vehicles, destroying neighborhood yards, and fleeing from a police officers before crashing into a tree.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The mushy date

Unlucky in love, I decided to revamp my dating approach. I needed something that would bring my style more in line with the famous schmoozers of TV and movies. I needed to be Cary Grant or even Hugh Grant at the height of their studliness (to clarify, not in car in Los Angeles or any other compromising location). Ever notice how movies always show the most romantic lines? "Here's looking at you, kid." "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." Could it get any sexier?

After enduring several hours of chick flick research, I discovered a common thread behind every Matthew McConaghey or Bryan Goesling character: They turn every comment into something sweet and flattering about their date. "How are you doing?" is answered "Great, now that you are here." Your favorite number is always two, "because that's what we are together -- a couple." It's not a dream about the future, it's a dream about our future together.

It takes practice to be mushy, but if a two-bit street performer turned Hollywood big shot can do it, I can give it a try.

Grethel and I met at a race. She and I had both run relaxing first miles and I caught up to her about midway through the second. She was taking the race easy, treating it like a "B" competition. I was planning on setting a season mark when I spotted her a few hundred yards ahead of me. You guys know what I mean by "spotted." I sprinted to catch up and was out of breath by the time I reached her.

I was huffing too heavily to get out anything comprehensible, but she glanced my way as I slowed into her pace. It took one look -- one simple glance -- and I surrendered my race objective. I didn't care anymore how fast I ran. Maybe, I thought ruefully, my favorite number is one. Then, thinking of the implications of a slow pace on my final placing, I figured it wasn't.

"Hey....hey..." She removed her headphones. "Hey..." I had a hard time getting the words out. How far had I sprinted? This wasn't very flattering.

"Hey." Her emotionless response didn't seem tired at all. How was she so fresh? I huffed more for a few seconds before she started to replace her headphones. NOOOO! Had to beat the buds.

"Can I have your number?" I gasped. She smiled and increased her pace. I wouldn't be able to keep up. "Can I? Can I?" I called after her.

After the race I saw her again. She gave me her number with a weird grin so I checked to make sure it wasn't the rejection hotline while she was still in sight. It wasn't. When she answered, I set up a date to a calorie-laden Italian food joint on our town's main thoroughfare.

Grethel came through the door at Oreida, a family diner with excellent french fries, wearing a light blue blouse fastened above her stomach to give the appearance of a maternity garment. As she approached my table, I bit back a comment comparing her to Katherine Heigl.

"Did it hurt?" I began.

"Did what hurt?" Grethel bit!

"Did it hurt when you fell out of heaven?" I felt pretty smug. Grethel's strained smile told me I wasn't the first person to try that line. I would have to be more creative.

Grethel started talking about another runner on her team who did something or other and before she got through all the details I had zoned out and was watching Sports Center reruns on the TV in the corner of the dining room.

"C?" Grethel called me back to reality. Be mushy, I remembered.

"Sorry, I just keep getting lost in your eyes. See, Grethel, your eyes are blue like the ocean and I just keep getting lost at sea" This was working. After I told Grethel that if I could rearrange the alphabet I would "put I and U together," that I was a "thorn by a rose" and "found" her smile in my back pocket, I ordered another side of fries.

Before we left Oreida, I asked for Grethel's hand. She gave it to me and I marked a line down the center with my finger. I explained that this line was a river and that there was a bunny on one side of the river who wanted to cross over to the other. Grethel asked why he didn't just swim across. I explained that the bunny couldn't swim, that the river was too big to jump and the bunny was a "she." Grethel nodded and asked what the point was. "I don't know," I answered, "I just wanted to hold your hand."

Grethel explained she had to return to work and thanked me for lunch. I wished her an excellent afternoon. It had been a lot of work, but Grethel seemed to be digging the mushiness.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

More Reasons We Hate America

It's taken us two years to do, but we finally have two more reasons why America is not the bomb.

Military Spending

The USA spends more on its military than any other nation in the world. In fact, it spends more than nine times more than the runner up, China (Woo! Go China!). That's appalling. It demonstrates a brutality and naivete that is second to none.

First, it says: America is the good guy, so it's justified in spending money on guns. But that doesn't logically follow. You know what we call countries that love war enough to spend six hundred and fifty trillion dollars on it each year? War mongers. And war mongers shouldn't be allowed to have guns. The only people who should are the ones who don't.

Second, it says: America has lots of enemies. Which is also something of a chicken and the egg. How many foreign soldiers are positioned in or threatening America? Probably somewhere between zero and none. How many American soldiers are positioned in or threatening foreign countries? Hundreds of thousands, bro. No wonder everyone hates us, which is why we convince ourselves we need a big army. Maybe if we spent less on tanks and more on flowers, people would suddenly stop hating us.

Government Structure
America is divided into fifty states; each of those states have counties and those counties have cities. Except for LA. That city has counties. Anyway, millions of dollars are spent on each election (in campaigns and administrative costs), but Americans can't seem to stop holding them. They vote on all kinds of things. There are thousands and thousands of elected officials in America, and thousands of thousands of voter-approved laws.

The whole country is enslaved by popular opinion, caught up in this democracy fad that's been taking off over the last few centuries. Everyone has an opinion about something, and precious time is wasted making sure everyone gets their say. What a waste! Consider a form of government that has been far more popular historically - in fact, it's been somewhere on the planet for thousands and thousands of years. Despotism is hyper efficient. It tosses out all these stuck-up notions of equality in favor of a system where accountability goes in just one direction: from the top down.

Now go enjoy your fireworks. But not too much.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Baby Showers: The Bane of Single Women

If you are reading this and you're a man, be grateful, because that means you will never have to go to a baby shower! I think to most men, baby showers are mysterious events and they secretly wish they could someday attend one. But showers are really quite simple and not that much fun.

The concept is similar to that of a birthday party - bring a present and eat food. But the atmosphere is much different. For the young, unmarried lady, baby showers can often be torturous.

For the first half-hour or so while the guests arrive, everyone will sit around and just chat, subtly - and sometimes not-so-subtly - inquiring into the romantic lives of the unmarrieds. Regardless of whether or not the young lady's state of singleness is by choice or necessity, she will be the object of pity and advice will come flowing in so that she, too, can one day be in the same happy, 8-months-pregnant condition of the guest of honor.

After the greetings are dispensed with, food eaten, and more advice given, it is finally time to open the presents. At last, the single young lady thinks, I will be left in peace.

But she finds no relief during this activity, either. As the expectant mother unwraps gift after gift, the other mothers in the group will ooh and aah, exclaiming over the usefulness of each gift.

"Boppys are the greatest! You can use them to prop up the baby while nursing or while sitting on the floor and a bunch of other stuff!"

"I love my Diaper Genie! My nursery used to reek from all the dirty diapers, but the Genie totally hides the smells!"

"A Hooter Hider! That thing is awesome! I wish it had been around for my first 3 kids, but for the last one it was great. I could totally nurse anywhere in public and no one could complain."

"Diapers...yeah, you'll be using a lot of them!"

"Awww, what a cute onesie! You'll definitely need a lot of those! Between spit-up and the rest, they get dirty all the time!"

"A baby booger sucker! You're going to want one of those with you all the time. It works great on adults, too!"

By this time the young ladies in the group will have a look of horror on their faces. TMI, people, TMI! The variety of presents and accompanying comments is enough to make anyone uninitiated in the ways of motherhood lose her breakfast.

Typically, present opening will be followed by a mediocre chocolate-with-raspberry-filling cake. The kind hostess will serve each of the single ladies a particularly small piece. After all, they're not eating for two and must maintain their figure if they're ever to get married!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

A Morning Walk.

Welcome! Thank you for joining us on today’s jog. Please keep your hands and feet close to your body at all times, as excess motion may result in collision with passing objects. Begin by sending action potentials to your left leg muscles. Your appendage should flex so as to boost itself from the ground. Use the liquid in your ears to balance on one lower limb - you don't want to collapse on the concrete. Now set your shoe down a few feet in front of where you lifted it from.

Proceed with the same method for the second leg. Repeat. Speed up the process and continue to reiterate the system. Use your upper limbs to maintain equilibrium, swinging them back and forth like pendulums.

So now you need to breathe.

Open your mouth and take care that your tonsils are not in the way. Use your lower diaphragm muscles to expand your lungs, creating a vacuum and sucking atmosphere into your chest cavity. Be careful not to inhale any passing insects. After the oxygen has been absorbed by your lungs, use your abdominal muscles to exhale.

Congratulations! You have crossed the street. Please join us next week when we eat a cheeseburger!